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Plagiarism: Attribution & Plagiarism

Books on Plagiarism

Avoiding Plagiarism

Citing: The rules for citing your sources are fairly straightforward. The following items taken from other sources must be acknowledged:

1.  Direct quotations

2.  Ideas from other sources, whether paraphrased or summarized

3.  Facts that are not considered common knowledge (facts such as the dates of important occurrences, are considered common knowledge and usually need not be footnoted)

Whenever you are in doubt about a particular item, cite it! This is part of preserving academic integrity. Along with your bibliography, it indicates to your reader the extent of your research; it also allows the reader to pursue particular aspects of your topic on his or her own.

Quoting: You must be careful not only to document material taken from other sources but also to indicate each and every use you make of another author's wording. For direct quotations, be sure not to omit any words or punctuation. If part of the quotation is irrelevant to your purpose and its omission does not change the meaning of the quotation, you may replace that segment with an ellipsis. Place brackets around any word or comment you add within the quotation.

Paraphrasing and Summarizing: At times, you will be paraphrasing or summarizing an author's idea. Any paraphrases or summaries that you do make should be completely in your own words and sentence structure. The surest means for achieving this end is not to look at the original while writing. Inserting synonyms for an author's words into his or her sentence structure is just as much plagiarism as unidentified word-for-word quotations. Integrating properly cited paraphrases and summaries fully into your own style has the virtue of demonstrating your clear comprehension of the subject matter; it also makes for a more unified and readable essay.

Note that when paraphrasing or summarizing, you will still cite the author’s name and page number as a way to acknowledge your use of the source.


Thanks to Christine Fruin, Scholarly Communications Librarian, University of Florida for reuse of some of her page's content